“First the Pain, Then the Rising”: Assessing Student Knowledge of Title IX Policies and Procedures at The College of Wooster

Student: Kaci A. Carpenter
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: Education
Advisors: Melissa Weller, Michelle Johnson

Kaci A. CarpenterThis independent study examined student’s perceptions of Title IX policies at The College of Wooster. Specifically, I examine the knowledge of College of Wooster students about reporting procedures for cases of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and other sexual misconduct policy violations. I also explore the College’s Title IX training and policy’s perceived effectiveness by students. Participants (n=154) completed an anonymous, quantitative survey sent out to College of Wooster students. Results included feelings of neutrality towards their education, familiarity, clarity, and feelings of campus climate around Title IX. This means that a majority of students did not find their training to be very effective, clear, or helpful in preventing events of sexual misconduct. Because of these findings, I included recommendations for future training programs at the College.

Kaci will be online to field comments on May 8:
Noon-2pm EDT (PST 9am-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening)

55 thoughts on ““First the Pain, Then the Rising”: Assessing Student Knowledge of Title IX Policies and Procedures at The College of Wooster”

  1. Kaci, this is such an important topic, and I always thought you exhibited courage in taking it on. I especially appreciate here how you had both scholarly and practical recommendations based on largely neutral responses that you received from students about their knowledge and feelings around Title IX. Well done.

  2. Kaci, thank you so much for putting so much effort and emotion into this project. I know how trying this was for you but your work is so incredibly vital to Wooster, other universities, and to everyone who has experienced sexual misconduct. Keep up the great work.

  3. As a parent I very much appreciate your Independent Study. I hope that administration looks closely at your findings and suggestions. Thank you for tackling such a difficult issue!

  4. Kaci, nice job on a very practical topic for Wooster. It is important for the College to know how uninformed students feel about Title IX implications despite educational efforts. I liked your viable suggestions for the future, especially for training and staffing at Wooster.

    1. Thank you for watching! I appreciate your feedback, I definitely tried to make my implications practical and feasible for Wooster as soon as the training for the Class of 2024!

  5. Kaci!! Congrats on finishing IS!! You did a great job!!

    Like several others have commented, this is an EXTREMELY important topic because of the increasing amount of sexual violence that occurs on college campuses, where unfortunately, immaturity, aggression, and alcohol often mix. My question to you is, how do we get students to take this topic more seriously?

    1. Thank you so much Rachel! I think that students will take it more seriously the more the College takes it seriously through continued training and open dialogue on the subject. Once students realize the severity of punishments and students feel more comfortable reporting misconduct the campus as a whole will take Title IX more seriously.

  6. Well done, and thank you for addressing this topic. I would love to see Wooster improve in this regard. If you have any suggestions for how alumni could come together and use our weight to make changes, please share! Congratulations on completing your IS!

    1. Hi Madeline! Thank you so much for watching and leaving a comment! I would definitely suggest that if you feel strongly about this subject you can send an email to the Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students Office, or President Bolton. I think that personal stories and awareness are the best ways to enact change in Title IX at Wooster. Changing the process is definitely an obtainable goal, but I believe the College must see how important of an issue this is to begin implementing that change. Help from alumni and current students advocating for better Title IX training would make the issue much more visible to Deans and the President!

      1. I have a draft open in my email and I’ll contact some old Wooster friends and see if I can get a few more voices involved. Thank you for the suggestion!

  7. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments this year, Kaci. Your perseverance, commitment, and creativity grew tremendously throughout your senior IS. I hope you are proud of your work and can celebrate all of your success.

    1. Thank you!! I couldn’t have done it without all of your help and encouragement!! I’m so lucky to have you as an advisor!

  8. Hello Kaci!

    I really like your presentation! I am very interested in the topic of because it’s important to take action over sexual assault and other physical violence that occurs in college or school in general. You have greatly presented in your video. Great work!

  9. Kaci, such a nice job of presenting a difficult and complicated topic. I am glad I got to read the entire document and hope your findings are put to use.

  10. Congrats, Kaci! This is definitely an important topic, and I really enjoyed how you broke it down in your video presentation.

  11. Kaci,
    Thank you so much for sharing your research. It is very brave of you to take on such a difficult, but important topic. I am especially pleased that in your conclusions you are posing real positive ways that we can improve our campus climate!

    1. Thank you Denise! I am excited to see what improvements are made for the Class of 2024 trainings!!

  12. Congratulations, Kaci! I’ve been looking forward to hearing your findings since you told me about your project in its Junior I.S. stage. An extremely important topic and your passion for improvement shines through in your presentation.

  13. Kaci,
    Your research is not only well-supported but also presented in an interesting manner. You should be proud of your hard work and the positive impact it has the potential to have, at not only The College Of Wooster, but other campuses as well.
    I read your entire paper and was impressed with the depth and consideration given to clarify many items that are new to older generations.
    Do you feel that as the schools are setting new guidelines for social distancing due to Covid19, that it may also be a good time for the school legal departments to tackle the “personal space” issue in a way that may help to clarify the language that they rely on for discipline and expected behavior?
    While a virus and intentional invasion of personal space are two totally different reasons for the rules to be updated, it seems that many things are changing in today’s world so that obsolete, unclear and new situations need to be addressed, and they have similar safety and personal welfare issues. Hopefully, the timing and impressive research and information in your paper will help to spark awareness and change where needed.
    I am sure you have helped many others in the same situation and that is something to be so proud of. I hope it inspires a positive new approach to deal with a serious issue.
    Well done!

    1. Thank you for watching and commenting! I definitely think that there will be a lot of guidelines put in place due to Covid if schools do go back in the fall. When they are coming up with those guidelines it would be a very practical and efficient time to look over the sexual misconduct policy and how those charges and guidelines could be clarified! I have shared my full thesis document with different people in the Wooster administration so I hope that it can help with updates!

  14. Kaci,
    This is one of the best IS presentations I’ve ever watched. Outstanding job.
    I’m a certified nurse-midwife (CNM), and part of what I do is help clients process sexual assault.
    Your proactive approach supported by research is refreshing.
    I know it will help others.

    1. Moira, thank you so much for commenting. It made my day. This project was so important to me due to many personal reasons, and knowing it has the opportunity to help others motivated me through the year of research. Thank you for your work and all you do for those women.

  15. Congratulations, Kaci–a wonderful presentation on an important topic. It’s wonderful to see that your IS has a practical and proactive result in your suggestions for future training approaches at Wooster. Excellent work here, thanks for sharing it!

  16. Kaci,
    Your presentation was outstanding. This is such an important topic and your passion for this project was very evident. I hope your findings will lead to positive change on the campus. Congratulations!

  17. Dear Kaci,

    Thank you so much for doing this important work . The insights and student voices you are sharing here (and in the full IS – thank you for sending it!) are ones that we will use to make Wooster ever safer and more equitable. As we respond to the new Title IX regulations that were released this week, your work will help us ensure that our new policies and processes are supportive and trauma-informed in ways that work for all students, and also help us find ways to communicate them effectively to students – both as they arrive on campus, and over time.
    Many thanks! Pres. Bolton

    1. Hi President Bolton,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to not only look at my IS but also watch and comment! I am so glad to know that my work will help Wooster navigate this new territory with Title IX and I am eager to see what training looks like for the Class of 2024!

  18. Wow great presentation! Thanks you for all your work into this topic. Was there any difference between knowledge of Title IX by gender?
    Breaks my heart that students wouldn’t report any issue because they think nothing would come from it. I really hope something can be done for future classes to change that mindset. You have some great suggestions.
    Good Luck after Graduation!

    1. Thank you for your comment Marlene! I agree that some of the responses were very sad and hard for me to read. There was no significance in gender actually, which I was also surprised by!

  19. Congratulations Kaci🧑🏼‍🎓🎓📚✨💫amazing job, interesting topic 👍

  20. Kaci, an outstanding presentation of a difficult but important topic. Congratulations and thank you!

  21. Great presentation! Particularly timely given recent Deparment of Ed rulings. Important and valuable topic. Congratulations!

  22. Thanks for sharing this research, Kaci. Especially with the recent changes to Title IX regulations, this is such a timely issue & and a topic I hope you will continue to contribute your expertise to in the future. Congratulations!

    1. Thank you! It was definitely timely, it almost makes me want to write another thesis! I included some of the proposals Betsy DeVos had given previously in my thesis, but there is definitely new information that should be analyzed in future research!

  23. Kaci,

    I’m a day late but found your work interesting and valuable. And, it sounds like President Bolton did too. Based on my experience with training in both politics and a the law firm setting, I believe your suggestion to use innovative training approaches like theater has real value.

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